The Mobile Allotment is a modular, mobile planting unit, designed and built by Lisa Cheung. The Mobile Allotment is a constantly evolving and growing project that was piloted on the Nightingale Estate in Woolwich, London, where it was comprised of two units, a mobile raised bed and cold frame greenhouse. Once they took up residency on the estate Lisa and Avant-Gardening began a programme of activities to engage the community with creative and growing projects ranging from vegetable and herb growing to t-shirt design.
Soups were cooked and shared whilst the children competed in the 'best runner bean contest' or created their own Nightingale Fanzine. As word of the Mobile Allotment spread more and more local people came to join in the activities and the Mobile Allotment was invited to hit the road to visit the Spitalfields Green Fair, the Barbican's Radical Nature exhibition and the Hackney Wick Festival.
The Mobile Allotment became a temporary hub for the community where people discussed their local environment and the physical changes they wanted to effect on the estate. A local community group built a couple of raised beds for the centre of the estate adding an attractive focal point to the main green space and the new green changes began to take place on the estate.
Following its residency in Woolwich the Mobile Allotment moved east, to Oaklands School in Bethnal Green, where the pupils worked with Avant-Gardeners to create a Mobile Sensory Garden - a little green oasis of shape, form, colour, texture, scent and taste. The pupils nurtured the allotments before they were moved to Moorgate to take part in the 2010 City of London Festival.
After the City of London Festival the Mobile Allotments were moved to the Flowers Estate in Abbey Wood, (dropping in on City Hall for a quick visit to the Mayor's Office on route) where the community used them to run a number of gardening and planting workshops during the summer and autumn
The Mobile Allotment is now out of action and soon to be de-commissioned having lasted longer than we expected out in the wind, rain and snow. We will be taking the lessons we have learnt from this prototype Mobile Allotment and in the future hope to refine the design and create a more robust model - the Mobile Alloment Mk2.